Question: Assalamu Aleykum
1. How can someone always have trust [tawakkul] in Allah in all their affairs, when asking from Allah, and not having fear or doubt. Is this a quality that can only be firm in people who have a lot of knowledge of Allah and islam?
2. How do you always keep a good opinion of Allah in all circumstances?
3. when praying and doing other acts of worship i keep thinking of trauma that i’ve been threw in the past. I feel bad because my heart feels distracted with it all the time, and i haven’t been focusing in prayer because of it.
4. When you make tawbah should you have hope or fear or both?
Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
The hand teaches the heart
None of us were born angels and few of us can take an honest look at themselves and say that they are morally perfect. That said, Allah has given us a means to work on ourselves and change: the practice of Islam.
By applying the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and by fulfilling our obligations towards Allah and His slaves with excellence, one cannot but change internally.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that Allah Most High said, ‘Never does My slave draw nearer to Me with anything more bleoved to Me than that which I have made obligatory upon him; and My slave keeps on getting closer and closer to Me until I love him. And when I love him, I am the hearing with which he hears, and the seeing with which he sees, and the hand with which he strikes, and the foot with which the walks.’ [Bukhari]
So by applying the teachings of Islam with one’s body, one changes internally and wins the love of Allah. At this point, Allah gives one a new way of looking at life: things no longer cause other things, but rather Allah is the direct cause of everything around one, and one cannot but love, fear and rely upon him totally.
What it costs
One of the Early Muslims mentioned how hard it was to get to this degree, and what work it involved. He said:
‘I was for twelve years the blacksmith of my ego, then for five years I became the mirror of my heart, then for a year I looked at what lay between the two of them and I saw around me a visible belt [i.e. of disbelief, = the sign of a non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state]. So I strove to cut it for twelve years and then looked again, and I saw around me a hidden belt. So I worked to cut it for five years, looking to see how to cut. Then it was unveiled for me and I looked at creation and saw that they were all dead. So I recited the funeral prayer over them.’ [Bustan al-Arifin, al-Nawawi]
So it is a tall order of business to change completely and become so much imbued in faith that you see everything and everyone as totally unable to harm or benefit you, and see Allah as the one and only Harmer and Benefiter.
The good news is that we are all weak, and all we have to do is give it our all, even if we don’t succeed. Allah Most High says, ‘He has already succeeded who purifies himself; and remembers his Lord and prays.’ [84: 14-15]
So we have to strive with might and mane, but even rely on Allah in attainment true reliance upon Him.
Good opinion of Allah
If you love Allah, it is only because He loves you; and if He loves you, then what He has in store for you is far greater than what you can try to achieve for yourself in this life or the next.
To help you keep thinking the best of Allah, one should always remember that Allah is omnipotent and can make anything come out of anything, and that Allah has more concern for one than one does oneself.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that Allah said, ‘I am close to whatever My slave thinks I will do for him.’ [Bukhari and Muslim] Based on this hadith, we should always be the utmost optimism about everything we experience in life, and know that it is, without exception, always to our advantage: ‘How peculiar is the matter of the believer! Everything is always to his advantage! And that doesn’t apply to anyone save a believer. If he enjoys a benefit, he is grateful and it is even better for him; and if he suffers a difficulty, he is patient and it is even better for him.’ [Muslim]
The true way to show patience is to actually thank Allah for the affliction, knowing that is in reality a gift from Him and sign of His affection and concern. But this is easier said than done.
Dealing with Trauma and worship
The point is that the trauma should not turn one away from Allah, but turn one to Allah. We have to turn to Allah in our needs and pains. The Prophet Jacob (upon whom be peace) said, ‘I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah.’ [12: 86]
It may be necessary to seek clinical help to deal with trauma, but a lot can be done by turning, and even crying, to Allah.
We have to know that everything comes from Allah and return to Him. We have to train our hearts to be like that. As Amherst D. Tyssen put it:
Oh, may we thus through life’s rough voyage,
With all its tempests cope;
Make God the Rock whereon we cast
The anchor of our hope.
Come weal: to Him we give the praise;
Come woe: on Him we rest;
E’en death is bliss to hearts assured
Whate’er He sends is best.
Repentance is the very essence of change and the only way we can become better slaves of Allah, for which reason the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘O people, repent to Allah and seek his forgiveness, for indeed I repent to Him and seek him forgiveness 100 times every single day.’ [Ahmad]
We should repent out of fear and hope, and continue on to do good deeps out of fear and hope. We stay between hope and fear, and fear and hope until we die. ‘Who forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them.’ [32: 16]
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to crafts lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language